The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week

The best things to do and see (or watch) in Europe this week

Starting with an icebreaker: Did you know that 'Super Freaky Girl' by Nicki Minaj is apparently the most popular song on peoples' sex playlists?

And in other, no-less serious news, Taylor Swift announced the end of her Eras Tour (something you can experience secondhand here) while Brits also went crazy for a tiny ceramic goat made by King Charles III 55-years-ago.

What we're trying to say is, it's been a weird time. And our emotions are all over the place (we blame Inside Out 2), so it's probably best we just dive into this week's recommendations.


Art Basel at Messe convention centre (Switzerland)

The artwork Pumpkin (2018) by Yayoi Kusama at Art Basel
The artwork Pumpkin (2018) by Yayoi Kusama at Art Basel - Georgios Kefalas/Keystone via AP

One of the world's biggest international art fairs, Art Basel has been taking place annually for the past 54 years in Switzerland, expanding to Miami Beach and Paris. The 2024 edition takes place until 16 June and features 285 exhibitors from all over the world, including works worth multimillions by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yayoi Kusama and Alberto Giacometti. The rest of the city takes part, too, with conceptual artist Agnes Denes presenting a new version of her iconic wheatfield, first staged in 1982, on Messeplatz, and Petrit Halilaj’s installation 'When the sun goes away' adorning the Hotel Merian. Find out more here.


Inside Out 2

Prepare to feel emotional as Pixar's sequel to 2015's Inside Out arrives in cinemas - hoping to bring some 'happiness' to the box office figures in the process. We're still based in Riley's (Kaitlyn Dias) emotional headquarters, following joy, anger, sadness, fear and disgust, who managed to guide her through the trials of moving to San Francisco in the previous film. This time, however, Riley's thirteen - meaning a whole host of new hormone-driven emotions are on the horizon. Cue anxiety.


This is one to avoid, according to our resident film critic David Mouriquand. He writes that Treasure, which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival, is a "frustratingly aimless road movie attempts to delve into hereditary trauma and the legacy of the Holocaust." He adds: "Its well-meaning efforts are undercut by a script that makes the central protagonist completely insufferable" - despite Stephen Fry's best efforts to keep things afloat. Read his full review here.

TV Series

'House of the Dragon' season 2 (HBO)

It's felt like an eternity since the first season of 'House of the Dragon' aired in 2022 - and what a cliffhanger it left us on, with Rhaenyra Targaryen (Emma D'Arcy) learning of her son's murder and turning to the camera with that look. Yes, all out civil war is on the horizon in Westeros as Queen Rhaenyra fights to maintain her reign over King Aegon. There will be lots of violence, lots of incest and lots of badass dragons, as is to be expected when re-entering the imagination of George R. R. Martin. We just hope they cool it on all the childbirth scenes this time - that or we need to rethink our dinnertime viewing.


John Grant: 'The Art of the Lie'

Sci-fi spectacular sonic goodness has landed with John Grant's newest album, 'The Art of the Lie'. It's the seventh solo project from the 55-year-old American singer-songwriter, who was formerly a member of alt-rock group The Czars. Moving between funky fresh 80s dance tracks, and synth-surfing haunted melodies like 'The Child Catcher', it's a richly emotional exploration of 21st century turmoil in techno.

Everything But The Girl: 'Amplified Heart'

Every month, we pick three great albums celebrating major anniversaries. For June - 13 June 1994 specifically - it's Everything But The Girl's 'Amplified Heart'. While best known for tracks like ‘Missing’, other standout tracks include the opening trio ‘Rollercoaster’, ‘Troubled Mind’ and ‘I Don’t Understand Anything’.

"The album’s melodies are understated and instantly catchy, to the point they feel like they’ve been with you forever," Euronews Culture's David Mouriquand writes.


‘Romeo & Juliet’ at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre (UK)

The poster for the play
The poster for the play - Copyright The Jamie Lloyd Company

On until 3 August for a limited run, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ is playing at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre. While there have, of course, been many, many adaptations of Shakespeare's tale of star-crossed lovers, the lure of this one is its exciting cast and director. Tom Holland (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers star, while Jamie Lloyd, who most recently worked on the Olivier Award-winning 'Sunset Boulevard', directs. Lloyd, who's known for his minimalist adaptations of classic tests and working with big Hollywood stars, has framed his iteration of Shakespeare's 1597 play in fragments, as if being viewed through a dream. Warning: There aren't likely to be many tickets left and those that are will be pricey.